7 things to know about New Zealand’s PM, Jacinda Arden years in office

January 19, 2023
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New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has announced that she will resign in February, saying she no longer has “enough in the tank” to remain as leader.

Below are some highlights of the 42-year-old PM’s six years in office:

1. Ardern became Prime Minister aged 37, the youngest PM in New Zealand since 1856.

2. She gave birth to her first child while in office on June 21, 2018. This made her the second PM in the world to give birth while in office. The first was late Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

3. In September of that year, still breastfeeding, she took her baby, Neve, to the United Nations General Assembly, becoming the first world leader to do so. Neve even had her own UN security pass to enter the chamber.

4. She was praised for the manner she handled the Christchurch mosque attack in March 2019, where 51 people were killed. She marshalled a swift gun law reforms and a push to force social media giants to address online hate speech.

5. Ardern again found herself comforting a shocked nation when a volcanic eruption at White Island, also known as Whakaari, killed 21 people and left dozens more with horrific burns in December 2019.

6. Ardern’s government imposed a lockdown and border closures soon after the first cases emerged in 2020. While the move was supported, she was also criticised by citizens unable to return home.

7. Ardern postponed her wedding as Omicron hit the country a year ago and, in announcing her resignation, told her longtime partner, Clarke Gayford, it was time they got married.

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